He Leadeth Me
By E. Yvonne Redal
He leadeth me, O blessed thought, O words with heavenly comfort fraught! Whate’re I do, where’re I be, still ‘tis God’s hand that leadeth me. He leadeth me, He leadeth me; by His own hand He leadeth me. His faithful follower I would be, for by His hand He leadeth me. – Joseph Henry Gilmore 1834-1918
The words and music of this old hymn have always held special meaning for me. I remember listening to my grandfather’s powerful bass voice ring out the words as my father played the piano in our little parsonage home in Northern Minnesota. I was just a little girl when I first heard that hymn. Although I couldn’t understand the words, somehow I knew with all my heart, I would be his faithful follower. It hasn’t always been true, but even when I lost my way he was still there leading me.
It seems like only yesterday I sat with my dad in his parlor listening to him play. Today I live in the woods of Washington, the evergreen state, which is far away from that parsonage in Holt, Minnesota. I am an old woman looking back and I can see that God has led me one step at a time.
I was preparing to go to bed one night and decided to put on my satellite radio to drown out the sounds of wind and thunder going on outside my window. I have always been a little afraid that one of the big conifer trees would fall and hit the house during a storm. I have watched them fall before. One winter we had a one-hundred-thirty footer crash through the electrical wires to the house leaving us without power for two weeks. This storm, while not as powerful, still shook the windows and truth be told rattled my old bones.
My worried thoughts were interrupted by a beautiful tenor voice singing my song, “He Leadeth Me.” I hadn’t heard it for a long time so I listened contentedly day dreaming of going back to my father and grandfather.
Suddenly, I heard a loud crack followed by the groan of wood as it stretched and pulled away from the roots. I knew the sound well having lived in many forests throughout my life. The only thing missing was the shout of, “Timber!” A big fir was on its way down. A horrific scraping noise began, I could only imagine what that was and then the earth shook! I knew those awful sounds were very near my bedroom window.
When things calmed down a bit I thought about going outside to see for myself what had happened. It was dark and raining quite hard, so I decided to stay in my warm bed.
The next morning I went outdoors and found that a big fir tree had fallen. It was over 150 feet tall and should have landed right on my head! Another tree, next to the house, had steered it just enough that it landed beside my home and not on it! The only damage was a scrape on the metal trim around the roof.
I said out loud, “Thank you, Lord!”
Sometime later after the mess from the tree had been cleared away I began to think of the many times where God has led and protected me. I decided to write some these stories down in hope they will help you reflect on your own life. He has a plan for each one of us, given before we are even born.